Have you ever seen a collapse like that? Ever? I’m still scraping myself off the floor. Another crazy week at work left me almost comatose by the time I turned on the television to try to catch the rest of the Bruins-Flyers Game 7 final on Friday night. Second intermission. Tie game. OK, looks like I’ll at least get to watch the third period.
Next thing I know, I wake up, and TSN is showing some baseball highlights. I flip around only to find out that:
(a) I’ve missed one of the best Game 7 finals in this year’s Playoff run (so far) and
(b) my neck is stiff and sore from sleeping in a funny position.
As I finally find a channel to watch the highlights with my head stuck at a 86 degree tilt, the enormity of what the Flyers have accomplished slowly sinks in. Note to Bruin fans: quit complaining about the too-many-men on the ice call — The Bruins are the collective equivalent of Bill Buckner on skates.
I think I heard someone say that this is the first time a seventh-seeded team has home ice advantage for the conference final. It’s almost like the hockey gods decided to have fun with this edition of the Playoffs and screw up everyone’s pool picks in the Eastern Conference.
So we have the seventh and eighth seeds in the East ready to battle either the first or second seed from the West. What is even more bizarre is of the various sites I have visited (OK, I know it is not very scientific), the East is picked as the winner in every case.
Montreal is looking very much like a team of destiny, and the same can be said of Philly. It’s not the first time I’ve been called a “bandwagon” fan, for jumping teams (I was cheering for Pittsburgh), but I’ll have to now root for the Canadiens. They’re a likeable bunch and you have to like the underdog, if being an eighth seed instead of a seventh seed entitles you to the underdog label. I think Chicago has a really good chance too.
But back to the implosion of the Bruins. It’s easy to question the penalty call, or whether it was Marc Savard or Milan Lucic who was at fault, but that would be missing the point. A team simply does not lose a series when they are up 3-0 on the basis of one play.
And just like Buckner, it was not one play, that cost Boston the series. It really does take an entire team to collapse the way they did.
Stay classy, Bill Buckner and the Boston Bruins.
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